WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker's Reviews > The Black Madonna

The Black Madonna by Stella Riley
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really liked it
bookshelves: civil-war, historical, mystery-suspense, series

'You believe it’s the King’s right to command Parliament; I don’t. You’ll fight to preserve His Majesty’s prerogative; I won’t. And we could argue till kingdom come without it making a blind bit of difference.’
‘You want His Majesty turned into a puppet?’
‘No. I want Parliament turned into something more than a cipher,’ came the swift reply. And then, ‘A balance has to be struck. The King stands for stability and tradition – and no one wants to see him safely back on his throne more than I do. But Parliament represents the people and must be allowed to act in their interests without fear of being dissolved on a royal whim.’
‘’Tis to preserve His Majesty that we against him fight,’ sang Francis.

For quotes and comments as I read - Buddy Read The Black Madonna

Historical Fiction with a romance element, if you enjoy Donna Thorland's books, you want to put this on your list.

This follows the Maxwell family (Roundheads), the daughter Kate is highlighted, the Langley family (Cavaliers), small glimpses of the Cliffords, Luciano del Santi, and the English Civil War. There is a lot of history in here, you get a good look at the players, circumstances, and events that lead to the war and then how it affects the family and friendships. Luciano and Kate are the romantic element but they do spend more time apart than together. Luciano is on a revenge/justice mission to find out who orchestrated his father's death. This worked to keep Luciano away from Kate and some added angst, but for me, it felt unnecessary and clogged up the story, we have a whole Civil War lead up and beginning to deal with.

The author does an amazing job with her characters, their relationships, and development of story with historical persons and events weaved in. The last thirty percent was tension filled with a focus on the Basing House siege and Luciano finally meeting his enemy. I was totally sucked into these characters and their stories, there is a wide cast with even secondary characters stealing your attention. Since Luciano really doesn't have a side in the war, besides the mentioned Basing House and some Powick Bridge, direct contact with battles, blood, and death isn't focused on. The feel of the war is through Kate's father Richard (you'll fall in love with him and his wife Dorothy and their relationship) and the political dealings he navigates in the parliament, the emotional dividing it causes for our characters, and nightly news feeling updates.

The beginning was a little difficult to navigate as a lot is thrown at you, the middle you grow to love the characters, and the ending was a crescendo of the building tension. Kate and Luciano have biting banter and oodles of chemistry when they manage to get together but like I said, the whole little Civil War thing and Luciano's search for justice, keep them apart more than not. Definitely sticking with the series as there are many characters I need to know what happens to.
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Reading Progress

March 29, 2016 – Shelved
March 29, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 8, 2018 – Started Reading
May 11, 2018 –
10.0% "'He has brought the Black Madonna home.’

Y'all, I sense some epic drama, adventure, love, heartbreak, and trauma on the horizon.

For more quotes and comments - Buddy Read The Black Madonna"
May 11, 2018 –
20.0% "‘If the King hadn’t stopped it, John Hampden would have gone five years ago – and taken that boorish cousin of his with him,’ remarked Kit Clifford idly. ‘What’s the fellow’s name – Cromwell, is it? Got a big nose and a noisy laugh. I can’t think why His Majesty didn’t let them go. Pity, if you ask me.’

I get way too nerdy when real history and people appear in books, the knowing anticipation. lol."
May 12, 2018 –
30.0% "‘Why did you do it?’ asked Richard. ‘How did you come to let it pass?’
His lordship flushed and stared at his feet. ‘Virtually half the House absented itself,’ he said. ‘But it won’t matter. The King won’t sign it. He told us he wouldn’t. So it didn’t matter how we voted. Not really.’
Hearing an echo of Henry Cox’s words, Richard felt a shiver go down his spine.

Shitith starting to hitith the fanith"
May 14, 2018 –
50.0% "'This is England, not Germany. We like our peace too much. What you’re suggesting would amount to civil war - and that could never happen here.’

Awkward. But also, centuries morning quarterbacking.

For more quotes/comments - Buddy Read The Black Madonna"
May 15, 2018 –
70.0% "He’d admitted that he had enjoyed kissing her but was telling her not to read too much into it. She put aside for later, the question of why – if he didn’t want her getting ideas – he’d made the admission at all.

Civil War and hidden desire. This is delivering, y'all.

BR - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."
May 17, 2018 – Shelved as: civil-war
May 17, 2018 – Shelved as: historical
May 17, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery-suspense
May 17, 2018 – Shelved as: series
May 17, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Vivian (new) - added it

Vivian Sounds like a legit historical romance not just window dressing.

WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker Definitely, more historical fiction even. You'll get your history fix :)

Sam (AMNReader) Excellent review!

message 5: by Caz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caz I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's not a period of English history that features often in HR - and yes, this can be described as HF with a strong undercurrent of romance - and it's fascinating. FWIW, this is my favourite of the 4 books in the series (so far), but the other are all well worth reading, and as I commented on Sam's thread earlier, don't miss out A Splendid Defiance, which is one of my all time favourite HRs.

WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker The glimpse of Captain Ambrose solidified me reading Splendid, I'll probably read that one next instead of going to book two in the series

Joanna Loves Reading Good review! Another successful buddy read. Woot!

message 8: by Caz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caz WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker wrote: "The glimpse of Captain Ambrose solidified me reading Splendid, I'll probably read that one next instead of going to book two in the series"

Justin was my first book boyfriend :) He's a fabulous hero.

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